May Day workers’ demonstrations, London, etc.

London May Day Protests 2009 from Adam Tinworth on Vimeo.

From the Trades Union Congres in Southern and Eastern England:



May Day co-chair Linda Kietz has stated that this year’s May Day is seen as the next stage in the struggle following the massive success of March 26th. “LMDOC agreed to hold back on its mobilising so that all efforts were directed to the national demonstration on March 26th. That great turn out has given impetus to all activity in the movement including May Day. The key is to build on what was achieved on the 26th and keep raising the key issues affecting the vast mass of the population – that we are being made to pay for the crisis created by the bankers and financiers and those bankers are back hoovering up billions in bonuses whilst health, education, social services etc etc are being run down. We want to keep up the fight on May 1st and we want everyone to join us.”

From the same site:


London’s traditional May Day march is following the same route as in past years – from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar SDquare. Marching up to Theobalds Road – passing the UNITE HQ – past Red Lion Square, down Kingsway and along the Strand.

There will be the usual bus leading the March which can take those who cannot march. The Big Red Band will lead out with music. …


LMDOC supported by GLATUC, S&ERTUC, UNITE London & Eastern Region, CWU London Region, PCS London & South East Region, ASLEF, RMT, MU London, FBU London & Southern Regions,

GMB London & Southern Regions, UNISON Greater London Region, Globalise Resistance, NPC, GLPA and other Pensioners’ organisations and organisations representing Turkish, Kurdish, Chilean, Colombian, Peruvian, Portuguese, West Indian, Sri Lankan, Cypriot, Tamil, Iraqi, Iranian, Irish, Nigerian migrant workers & communities plus many other trade union & community organisations.

London May Day has a massive distinctive banner bringing a flavour of Latin America to the March. The banner was made by Chilean refugees in Britain organised by Ernesto Leal – a key figure in the Chilean community and in LMDOC.

Hand made it brought a totally appropriate international feel and became the proud symbol of London May Day.


Getting speakers to cover current key issues LMDOC has secured Matt Wrack General Secretary of the FBU involved in continuing issues with the London authorities on a range of key issues; Chris Baugh Assistant General Secretary of PCS who are battling over job and service cuts in the civil service; Clare Solomon who was President of the University of London Union 2010-11 who was heavily involved in the student protests over increased fees and attacks on financial support and Eylem Ozdemir Co-Chair of RCWA covering the perpective from that of migrant workers.

Glasgow Friends of May Day is a new group of activists and artists set up to assist Glasgow Trade Union Council (Glasgow TUC) increase support for the city’s May Day celebrations in a direct challenge to the plans of the Con-Dem coalition to do away with the public holiday: here.

May Day in the USA: here. And here. And here.

May Day Rallies Reveal America’s True Self—Its Promise and Its Fear – COLORLINES: here.

Zimbabwe: Police ban May Day marches: here.

Peter Mayo, Truthout: “Turkey’s celebration of May 1 as international workers day was of particular significance. This was only the third time this celebration was held – following its long ban, finally lifted by the government in 2009. In 1977, a similar celebration was marred by fatal attacks which left dozens of protesters dead as unknown gunmen opened fire. The victims’ names were called out on May 1, 2011, by a famous Turkish actor, in a poignant moment which brought to mind the country’s tragic past – including a 1980 military coup that paved the way for the onset of neoliberalism (shades of Chile seven years earlier). The memory of protests and violence also led one to remember what was going on all over the region with the struggle for work and dignity, and greater democratic openings, in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Libya”: here.

13 thoughts on “May Day workers’ demonstrations, London, etc.

  1. All Out for May Day and May 3!

    Sunday May 1: International Workers Day!

    The increased attacks on both immigrant and non-immigrant workers show the need for the most united, militant action possible on May Day in the U.S. May Day originated in the U.S. from the struggle of immigrants and other workers who fought and died for the eight-hour workday in 1886 – for the right of all workers to a decent life.

    In 2005 May Day was revived in the U.S. with a march in New York City organized by the Million Worker March Movement. In 2006 — as repression of immigrants reached a fever pitch — May Day exploded. Millions poured into the streets throughout the U.S. to demand legalization and rights for all workers. United mass action defeated the racist Sensenbrenner bill. In Los Angeles the “Day without Immigrants” called for no work, no school, no shopping, no selling. Profits dropped at shuttered businesses.

    This year May Day is the next nationwide step to push back the union-busting attacks launched in Wisconsin attacking our jobs, communities and even democratic voting rights. In a welcome development the organized labor movement is mobilizing and uniting with the immigrant movement in many areas. Make the banks pay for the global capitalist crisis and imperialist war – not teachers, students, public workers and services in our communities.

    May Day – New York City
    International Workers May Day
    14th St. & Broadway, Manhattan
    Welcoming Clarence Thomas, from ILWU Local 10 that closed the San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. ports on April 4, co-chair of the Million Worker March Movement; and Gilbert Johnson, Pres. AFSCME Local 82 from Milwaukee, Wis.

    People are fighting back from Egypt to Wisconsin, Latin America to New York and everywhere around the world people are demanding: Stop the attacks on working families, organized and unorganized and all working people around the globe!

    Demand Jobs, education, housing, union rights and a living wage for all; money for human needs not for war; legalize the undocumented! Stop the deportations

    May Day – Los Angeles
    International Workers Day rally
    Sunday, May 1 at 10:00 am
    Olympic and Broadway, Los Angeles
    Sponsor: Southern California Immigration Coalition
    Contact: call 323-602-3480 or 213-712-0370 or email
    Demand: full legalization for all, now; stop I.C.E. deportations now; no guest worker (aka bracero) program; worker’s right to organize; stop 287(g) & “secure communities”

    May Day – Milwaukee
    1:30 PM: Assemble at Voces de la Frontera (5th St. and Washington in Milwaukee)
    2:00 PM: March to Veteran’s Park
    3:00 PM: Rally at Veteran’s Park featuring AFL-CIO International Pres. Richard Trumka and Voces de la Frontera Exec. Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz
    Demand: Stop Racist Arizona Copycat Law; Defend In-State Tuition for Immigrant Students; Defend Collective Bargaining Rights; Stop Walker’s Budget Cuts to Education and Health Care;

    May Day – San Francisco
    One world, one movement: immigrant rights are workers rights
    Stop the attack on all working families and working people around the globe.
    Gather: 24th and Mission, 11:30 a.m.; march at noon to 1 p.m. rally at Civic Center
    The San Francisco Labor Council endorsed “A day without workers” on May Day 2011 and supports the right of affiliates to engage in work stoppages, sick-outs, and any other solidarity actions on May Day. ( A march to the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. will step off to join the teachers’ union tent city for public education to begin May 9.

    May Day – Tucson, AZ
    Resist! Stop the attacks on (im)migrants, our youth and all workers!
    Stop the attacks on Ethnic Studies and Public Education
    Stop the attacks on (im)migrant Communities
    Stop the attacks on public workers –NO union busting
    Stop the collaboration between local and federal police
    Stop the militarization of the border and the deaths
    Stop the deportations
    Gather: Greyhound Park (SE corner of 4th Ave and 36th St) 9:00 a.m.; march to 11:30 a.m. rally at Armory Prk (SE corner of 6th Ave and 13th St)
    Tucson May 1st Coalition –
    Tel: 520.770.1373 or 520.762.6629

    In a new effort to revive this workers day of struggle, May Day United has made a coordinated effort to publicize May Day rallies as a “A Day Without Workers” all across the country.
    For more MAY DAY actions or to post your own go to
    There is information about your legal rights at work at

    Defend Education and all Public Services!

    3 p.m.: Student and Youth Rally for Education and Public Services
    NC State University Bell Tower — Raleigh, N.C
    4 p.m.: One Voice Rally at NC General Assembly (16 W. Jones St, Raleigh, N.C.)
    For more information, please contact, call 919-604-8167, or visit for more information.

    On Tuesday, May 3, the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) is organizing a massive rally at the North Carolina General Assembly against deep budget cuts–including a more than $1 billion cut to education and 15,000 layoffs of state workers–that have been proposed by the legislature. Buses are being organized from across the state, and many organizations and coalitions that are working to defend the public sector–unions, students, and community groups–will be out in force. Organizers are expecting between 5,000-10,000 people to be at the demonstration. May 3 will be a major mobilization against the budget cuts and austerity measures. There has been much discussion among organizations about different actions that may take place that day. The fighting spirit and examples set by workers and students in Wisconsin, New York, Michigan, and elsewhere around the country are providing tremendous inspiration for this demonstration. Students from across N.C. will be o rganizing a rally, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Bell Tower on NC State University’s campus, and a march to join the main demonstration at the General Assembly at 4 p.m. If you are able, please make plans to attend this important demonstration to stand with teachers, public workers, students, and all of our communities that are being targeted by these cuts and to fight back against these attempts to dismantle the public sector and balance this crisis on our backs!

    Bail Out the People Movement

    Solidarity Center
    55 W. 17th St. #5C
    New York, NY 10011


  2. 2011 May Day Statement

    We at MIGRANTE Austria honor and march with the working people of the world as we denounce a whole year of betrayal by President Benigno Aquino III.

    Armed with a most welcome promise of change, Aquino was mandated by the people to drag the country out of the quagmire left behind by the 10-year rule of his predecessor Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He made sweet promises on his 10-point agenda declaring that we, the people, are his ,,boss”. But instead of delivering on his promises (, he has outrightly neglected the Filipino people’s issues and legitimate demands in his first year of his term.

    As a candidate for President, Aquino talked big about prosecuting and holding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo accountable for plunder and gross human rights violations. Now in office, Aquino continues many of the policies of Arroyo’s and other previous governments as the socio-economic and human rights situation in the country further deteriorates.

    Facts and figures are available to prove this. But when a third of the country’s 94 million people remain in deep poverty and their numbers continue to grow by the day, statistics are hardly necessary. We know and experience it in our daily lives.

    The costs of basic commodities and services in the country continue to rise ( and 4.1 million families — have gone hungry at least once in the past three months (SocialWeatherStation poll, March 2011).

    According to the National Statistics Office (NSO) there are about 2.86 million unemployed and 6.76 million Filipinos underemployed as of 2010. The daily minimum wage of Php404 is just 2/5 of the estimated average family living wage (FLW) of Php988 in the National Capital Region (NCR) as of March 2011.( Despite of this, Aquino refused to legislate a P125 (USD 2.71) daily wage increase across the board and is instead leaving up the matter to the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board – a cheap way to shirk responsibility.

    Owing to the Labor Export Policy implemented by previous governments in the last four decades, more than 20% of the 36-million Philippine work force is deployed abroad at a high social cost (including family separations, various forms of maltreatment in host countries). The so-called Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who remit the dollars that fuel the Philippines’ economy are hailed as the country’s present-day heroes but the government hardly pays more than lip service to their rights and welfare. The government does not have a system for the repatriation of OFWs in crisis-struck countries and has neither the will nor the capacity to reabsorb them into the local work force.

    Rep. Rafael Mariano of Party-list, Anakpawis stressed ” If only the government will protect the local industries from smuggling, global competition and trade liberalization policy, then unemployment and underemployment will not be a cause of concern.” ( )

    Indeed, Aquino has chosen to pursue a policy of subservience to foreign dictates. In fact, thousands of urban poor families have been displaced through violent demolition of their homes, public transportation fares have been hiked, and value added tax has been imposed on expressways — all in the name of the public-private partnership program pushed by the World Bank. Large scale foreign mining projects that give foreign companies a high return on their investments cause environmental destruction and damage to human lives and human rights violations. It is also to meet the conditionality of the World Bank that Aquino stopped rice subsidies via the National Food Authority and created the Conditional Cash Transfer, a dole-out program prone to corruption by government officials at all levels.

    Not surprisingly, the dictates of imperial power go beyond socio-economic policy. The Visiting Forces Agreement with the USA continues to be in force. Aquino has reneged on its promise to review said Agreement containing provisions that compromise the country’ s sovereignty. Only several days ago, on the occasion of the visit of 2 US senators to the country, he started sounding off to the nation the possibility of the return of US forces in the country’s “former” US bases.

    Furthermore, in accordance with the US Counter-Insurgency Strategy for the Philippines, Aquino implements measures that violate the human rights of our already-suffering people. ( He extended Arroyo’s military campaign upon taking office in June 2010 and launched at the beginning of 2011 his own Oplan Bayanihan which likewise seeks to silence voices of dissent specially in the countryside where peasants and farmers fighting for their basic rights to the soil they till. Harassment, abductions, illegal arrests, trumped-up charges torture and other forms of human rights violations continue unabated throughout the country and the human rights watchdog KARAPATAN documented more than 40 cases of extrajudicial killings during Aquino’s first year in power.

    We can fill a book, we can fill a lot of books, to show that Aquino, in his first year, was not eager to make the government work on behalf of the laborer, the farmer and the urban poor, the small businessman and has waisted a good part of his time mismanaging the crises that came his way. He has not proven that he can be trusted to look out for the interests of the Filipino people. And there is no indication that the situation will change for the better within his term. He is not into the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to achieve peace based on social justice. He is not for the implementation of genuine land reform, as one can see from his handling of the dispute over his family’s Hacienda Luisita. He must have the willingness to assert national independence and adopt an economic development program based on national industrialization and enlightened social policies.(

    We believe that only the united action of all working people will bring the much-needed change in the key areas of our lives. Your solidarity and support give us enormous strength to press on in our struggle

    For more information, please contact:


  3. Workers demand better jobs, pay on May Day

    By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press – 1 hr 15 mins ago

    ISTANBUL – Activists marking international workers’ day Sunday staged a massive march of 200,000 in Turkey’s capital and rallied in cities around the world to demand more jobs, better working conditions and higher wages.

    Most of the annual May Day workers’ rights marches were peaceful, although demonstrators in the Philippine capital set ablaze a cartoon effigy of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to protest his buying a luxury car secondhand.

    In Istanbul, about 200,000 workers gathered in Taksim Square in the largest such rally there since 34 people died on May Day in 1977, when shooting triggered a stampede. The Turkish unions weren’t allowed back into the square May 1 until last year.

    “We want light to be shed on the 1977 massacre,” Suleyman Celebi, who is running for Parliament in the upcoming elections in June, told CNN-Turk television. Celebi had served as leader of one of the country’s largest labor unions, DISK.

    Pro-labor demonstrations were also expected Sunday in Russia and Germany.

    In Asia, one of the biggest rallies took place in South Korea, where police said 50,000 rallied in Seoul for better labor rights. They also urged the government to contain rising inflation, a growing concern across much of Asia, where food and oil prices have been spiking and threatening to push millions into poverty.

    Thousands of workers also marched in Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Philippines to vent their anger over the rising cost of living and growing disparities between the rich and poor.

    Police in Seoul said about 50,000 people gathered in a park near the National Assembly, waving signs and chanting anti-government slogans. Some of the protesters marched toward the Assembly building after the rally but no violence erupted, police said. About 8,000 people held a separate rally near City Hall.

    “We want to put an end to the barbaric times of unlimited competition and winner-take-all systems,” Kim Young-hoon, head of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, said in a speech at the rally, according to his office.

    In China, Sunday was the second of a three-day weekend. In the morning, thousands of Chinese holidaymakers flocked to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to watch the daily flag raising ceremony.

    The People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, extolled the importance of workers in a changing economy and world. “Work diligently, work honestly, work innovatively,” read the editorial’s headline.

    “Today, when the ways of the world and the national condition undergo profound change, the working class and the working masses, their contributions and hard work, still have a bearing on the realization of the country’s goals, the development of China’s future and the glory and the dreams of hundreds of millions of Chinese people,” the editorial said.

    In the Philippines, about 3,000 left-wing workers demanding higher wages held a protest in a Manila square that included setting alight the effigy of Aquino grinning in a luxury car. Aquino was criticized earlier this year for buying a secondhand Porsche in a country where a third of people live on a dollar a day.

    They later marched toward an access bridge near the Malacanang presidential palace that was blocked off with barbed wire and heavily armed anti-riot forces.

    Aquino earlier met moderate labor leaders in a breakfast meeting, which was snubbed by left-wing groups, and assured them his government was doing all it can to ease their plight.

    In Taiwan, about 2,000 people rallied in Taipei to protest the widening income gap and to demand their government create better work conditions.

    Protesters said that while President Ma Ying-jeou has made engaging China the centerpiece of his presidency and big companies have benefited from close Chinese trade ties, he has not focused enough on the needs of the middle and working class.

    China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949. Beijing still claims Taiwan as its own.

    In Hong Kong, thousands took part in various marches even as the territory’s first-ever minimum wage took effect.

    About 3,000 people took part in a Sunday morning protest while another 5,000 were expected at an afternoon rally, local media reports said, citing union organizers.

    The government said about 300,000 workers will benefit from new legislation that sets the minimum wage at 28 Hong Kong dollars ($3.60) an hour.

    But unions are upset about the way the way it has been implemented by the government, saying it doesn’t specify whether lunch breaks and rest days should be paid.


    Associated Press writers Kelvin K. Chan in Hong Kong, Gillian Wong in Beijing, Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea, and Aaron Favilo in Manila, Philippines, contributed to this report.


  4. Indian fight for workers’ rights

    Thousands of workers marched through the centre of Delhi on 1 May demanding social justice and workers’ rights in post-colonial capitalist India.

    Nearly 8,000 workers joined the demonstration in solidarity with the Workers’ Charter Movement.

    Men and women waved red flags and placards, and chanted slogans.

    Speakers urged all workers to unite under the banner of the Workers’ Charter Movement to fight a common enemy—one that’s brought an immense attack on their rights, freedom and life.

    A charter was also presented to the government signed by thousands of workers. This called for a minimum monthly wage of 11,000 Indian rupees and a wage ceiling to ensure fair distribution of wealth in the country.

    There are 26 points to the charter, which will improve workers’ conditions and rights if implemented.

    Many people felt like they will truly be able to turn the tide against the attacks from the ruling class. After all the workers had left, I overheard someone saying, “It’s the beginning man.”

    Sourav Benerjee, Delhi, India


  5. Dag van de Arbeid in hele wereld gevierd

    PARIJS (ANP/AFP) Honderdduizenden mensen over de hele wereld hebben zondag 1 meivieringen bijgewoond om de rechten van werknemers te verdedigen. Van Hongkong tot Moskou en Parijs betoogden werknemers tijdens de veelal vreedzame marsen voor de Dag van de Arbeid.

    In Rusland liepen honderdduizenden mee in de pro- regeringsoptochten, die waren georganiseerd door regeringspartijen en vakbonden. Enkelingen hielden ook marsen tegen de regering, zoals extreemlinkse activisten in het centrum van Moskou. Die riepen op tot revolutie: “Of het nu Cairo of Moskou is, alleen door te vechten krijgen jullie je rechten”, riepen ze.

    In Frankrijk hield het extreemrechtse Front National (FN) zijn traditionele optocht met een nieuw imago. De populaire nieuwe leider Marine Le Pen had skinheadkapsels en bomberjacks verboden. De grote vakbonden hielden circa tweehonderd marsen in heel Frankrijk. Vakbond CGT telde er 120.000 mensen: flink minder dan de 350.000 vorig jaar.

    In Duitsland liepen 423.000 mensen mee, zo’n 60.000 minder dan het voorgaande jaar. “1 mei is geen vakantiedag. Het is een dag waarop we demonstreren voor de rechten van werknemers”, zei voorman Michael Sommer van vakbond DGB bij een betoging in Kassel. Hij noemde de betoging een duidelijk signaal aan bondskanselier Angela Merkel. “Eerlijke lonen, fatsoenlijk werk en sociale zekerheid vormen het minimum dat werknemers in dit land verwachten, nodig hebben en we steeds opnieuw moeten bevechten”.

    In Oostenrijk gebruikte kanselier Werner Faymann de 1 meiviering in Wenen om de banken te kritiseren. “Als alles goed gaat, zullen ze hun zakken vullen”, zei hij tegen 100.000 aanwezigen. “Als de dingen slecht gaan, zijn het de belastingbetalers die moeten betalen.”

    In Istanbul, de grootste stad van Turkije, kwamen duizenden bijeen op het Taksimplein. Ze zwaaiden met vlaggen en zongen liederen. Tot vorig jaar was het plein verboden voor de bijeenkomsten, omdat hier in 1977 bij de 1 meiviering 33 mensen werden doodgeschoten.

    In Griekenland liepen ongeveer 15.000 mensen in een optocht tegen de strenge bezuinigingen van de overheid. De Griekse bonden hebben een algemene staking uitgeroepen voor 11 mei.

    In de Verenigde Staten wordt de Dag van Arbeid traditioneel pas gevierd in september, omdat het de 1 meiparades te socialistisch vindt.

    Bron: Reformatorisch Dagblad 02-05-2011


  6. Eenheid

    door Frederike Geerdink

    “Water is een recht, het is onverkoopbaar!” Toen ik dat gisteren zag op een protestbord op Taksim Plein, wist ik het zeker: iedereen is hier. Iedereen die iets te verkondigen heeft dat gelinkt kan worden aan de Dag van de Arbeid, kwam samen op het centrale plein van Istanbul. En liet een eenheid zien waar ik kippenvel van kreeg.

    Over het algemeen wordt Turkije gezien als een gepolariseerd land. En dat is het ook, in veel opzichten. Maar die polarisatie moet ons niet blind maken voor de enorme eenheid die er ook kan zijn. Behalve “water-activisten”, waren er spandoeken voor gerechtigheid voor Dersim (lees daarover hier meer) , voor de socialistische revolutie (inclusief Che-portret natuurlijk), er waren acteurs die demonstreerden voor kortere werkdagen en meer sociaal-economische zekerheid, Koerden die meer rechten eisten, journalisten die opriepen tot meer persvrijheid, feministen tegen seksuele intimidatie, jongerenorganisaties van politieke partijen en natuurlijk vakbonden van vele uiteenlopende beroepsgroepen. Noem het op en het was er. Op een enorm podium werden toespraken gehouden en er was muziek. En zon. En 38,500 politiemensen op de been op en rondom het plein: hoe verder de dag vorderde, hoe meer ik er zag gapen en relaxed op een stoel of muurtje thee drinken.

    Pas sinds twee jaar zijn 1 Mei-demonstraties weer toegestaan op Taksim, nadat er bij de viering op het plein in 1977 meer dan dertig mensen werden doodgeschoten. Politici waren altijd bang dat er rellen zouden uitbreken. Maar Turkije is niet meer het Turkije van de late jaren zeventig, die erg gewelddadig waren en leidden tot de militaire coup van 1980. Ook de jaren tachtig zijn voorbij, waarin het land langzaam de weg naar democratie weer probeerde te vinden. En de jaren negentig, de gewelddadigste jaren in de strijd tussen de PKK en het Turkse leger, zijn ook geschiedenis. Turkije is democratischer geworden en de vrijheid van meningsuiting is veel groter.

    Prachtig, als je er even bij stilstaat. Terwijl in het hele land politici in de verkiezingscampagnes de polarisatie weer tot grote hoogtes opstuwen, komt het volk samen en worden meningsverschillen in de ijskast gezet. Zij maken er samen een fantastische bijeenkomst van, om zo bij te dragen aan een beter leven voor de gewone man en vrouw. Kunnen we politici niet begiftigen met die spirit?

    Bron: 02-05-2011


  7. Pingback: May Day in occupied Haiti | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: US May Day poem on revolution | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Moroccan workers win higher wages | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Burkina Faso pro-democracy movement | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: May Day, international workers day today | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: London library about working class history | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.